Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are an astrophysical phenomenon that concentrates an amount of energy greater than that emitted by the Sun in a year.
These fast radio bursts manifest as a fleeting radio pulse a few milliseconds long on average. It should be noted that FRBs can be presented in one fell swoop, repeated randomly, or appear based on a predictable schedule.
So far it has been difficult to decipher the origin of these fast radio bursts. However, this riddle is likely to have an answer soon. This, thanks to the emergence of a huge data set that could offer new information on this phenomenon.
And it is that in the course of a few weeks they have managed to detect more than 1,600 new signals that have been attributed to one of the most studied sources of FRBs. This has ruled out one of the main hypotheses about the origin of this phenomenon.
In this sense, there have been various speculations about the origin of FRBs: black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, alien particles, and even extraterrestrial intelligence.
However, among all the suspects have been the magnetarsCompact stars with high-power magnetic fields to which their formation is mostly attributed. This assumption gained more force after a magnetar was recently detected in our galaxy from which signals that were similar to those associated with FRBs were emanating.
Although this situation could be a final verdict on the origin of FRBs, a new study caused this to be quickly discarded. In this sense, a group of astronomers used the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) located in China to conduct a close analysis of one of the best known FRB sources.
It’s about the FRB 121102, the first repetitive signal discovered recently found to be much more active than previously thought. After an observation of almost 60 hours over 47 days on the source, a number of 1,652 bursts.
This result reflects a notable increase in the manifestation of FRBs that since their discovery in 2012 had had a record of 347 bursts. Thanks to the compilation of these new bursts, it is possible that in the near future the mystery of the FRBs will be revealed.
Regarding this, study author Bing Zhang noted “The large set of bursts helped our team fine-tune the characteristic energy and power distribution of FRBs like never before, shedding new light on the engine that powers these mysterious phenomena.».